I know you. I’ve fought you before. I know every way you’re going to attack me. I’ve been beaten down by you before. You’ve brought me so low I wanted to quit. You kept kicking me when I was down. You showed no mercy. At long last the fight ended, but you kept hounding me – picking at me in small, petty ways. I was free of you for awhile then unexpectedly I found myself in Round Two.
This time I will not undermine myself with worry. Worry crippled me the last time I fought you. I will remain calm no matter what you throw at me. Screaming, ranting, and giving in to despair did me no good. Crying… Yes I will cry, but only as a healthy release not as part of a self-destructive cycle of self pity that leaves me wide open for the worst of your attacks.
I will listen for the voices of my coaches during this fight. I will listen for my friends cheering me on. I didn’t listen last time around and you took full advantage. No more. There are a few who say to my face that you will win. There are some who don’t believe that I am capable of fighting you. I’m not listening to them anymore. If I happen to hear them in the clamoring voices of the ringside crowd I will listen again for those who are encouraging me to keep fighting.
Every time you throw something at me, I will take action. I will go on the offensive every opportunity I get. I am looking for those opportunities so watch out. I didn’t look for opportunities last time around; I just reacted and my reactions were ineffective. I acknowledge that maybe my best might still not be good enough. You almost crushed me utterly the first round and you might win this round. But if you win, know that I will hound you until the next fight just like you hounded me between rounds.
Most importantly I refuse to do your work for you. I will not undermine myself. That stops now.
I will stay positive and look for and hope for better things. I will be grateful for everything that helps me beat you. Maybe I will defeat you utterly. I know I will learn more no matter what happens, and when I am learning more I am gaining strength. In a way, I will win no matter what – no matter how many times I have to fight you, no matter how many times I fall to the mats I will win. I will get back up again even if I feel defeated. I will fight until there’s nothing left in me.
Dear reader, this is not a human opponent. But I have learned to fight this enemy because of the lessons I’ve learned in Karate. My husband unexpectedly lost his job. We’ve been in this place before. I spent a weekend grieving, then I took up the fight. Every day I strive to do as many positive things that I can do to help the situation. My eyes are wide open for creative ways of saving and earning money. Even if the worst happens I have plans for that too. We will persevere.
To all who have encouraged me, taught me, and worked with me both in and out of the dojo – thank you. You mean the world to me.